At one time, former Minnesota Archbishop John Nienstedt was one of the most powerful and vocal opponents against marriage equality.
Now however, his reputation is in disgrace after resigning due to allegations of sex abuse coverups. To make matters worse, he is embroiled in a personal scandal which may serve to make him the latest stereotype of the adage that those who decry homosexuality the loudest are actually gay themselves.
From The Star Tribune:
Former Archbishop John Nienstedt said he remains “dumbfounded” by the allegations of personal misconduct that emerged last year during an internal church investigation of his behavior — a report that the archdiocese now is considering making public.
. . . Commissioned by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the probe looked into claims that Nienstedt had engaged in behavior that was inappropriate for a priest. The Star Tribune has learned that investigators collected affidavits from priests, former seminarians and a former priest alleging actions, some dating to the Detroit area in the early 1980s, that range from inappropriate touching to visiting a gay nightclub.. . . In one affidavit, a priest in Harrison Township, Mich., reported seeing Nienstedt at a gay nightclub in Windsor, Ontario, just across the border from Detroit in the 1980s. “I recall seeing John — and there is no doubt in my mind that it was him based on my prior interactions with him — at the Happy Tap,” the Rev. Lawrence Ventline wrote in his affidavit. “He appeared to wave me off as I was coming — and I backed off because I did not want impose on him.”Another affidavit from a Michigan priest said that Nienstedt pulled up to his car in an area frequented by gay men one December in the early 1980s and asked him if he had any “poppers,” an inhalant used by gay men to enhance sexual pleasure. When he got into Nienstedt’s car, and Nienstedt recognized him as a former student, he changed the subject, the priest told the Star Tribune.. . . Nienstedt denied all the allegations, point by point and in general. He also stressed that none of the people who filed affidavits claimed that he “ever abused any minor, had a sexual relationship with any individual, or committed any crime.”